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Pros and Cons to a 34" scale 24 Fret?

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington [archive]' started by dudemanbroguy, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. dudemanbroguy


    Mar 9, 2016
    I'm looking at getting a custom roscoe 5 string and I'm on the fence about getting a 34" scale or a 35" scale while having 24 frets. I love the feel of my 34" scale Fender (21 fret). My 35" scale (24 Fret) Ibanez is not as comfortable. What I'm worried about is if the 22nd, 23rd, and/or 24th fret will be too small on a 34" scale, and if it will effect the sustain at all? I am well aware that tone, feel, etc. comes from you, not the instrument. I'm just wondering if there is enough room for 24 frets to breathe on a 34" scale 5 string since they are apparently pretty rare to come by in my city, making it hard for me to go pick one up, play it, and decide for myself.

    Also, what are people's thoughts on a Pau Ferro Fretboard on a Maple/Wenge/Maple neck?
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You may want to PM a mod and have them move this to an appropriate sub-forum. This area is to specifically ask Anthony Wellington questions. While the man is a genius when it comes to musical education I think this question may be better answered elsewhere.
  3. This may depend on a given bass and your playing style.

    I don't have an experience with Roscoe but I have a Sadowsky metro modern M4-24 which I find really comfortable. Notes sound full all the way up the neck. It sounds very tight and burpy.

    The lower horn cut-away is so that higher fret access is easy and I don't even notice the tighter fret spacings honestly. The two soap bar pickups allow for plenty of space for slap, pop, tap if that's your thing too.

    Note this Sadowsky has dinky size body but it's well balanced and light weight. It does not tire my left hand when playing higher up the neck for an extended period of time.

    As for pau retro fertboard, I've never tried one sorry.

    Here's the pic;
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  4. dudemanbroguy


    Mar 9, 2016
    That Sadowsky is a 34" scale?
  5. dudemanbroguy


    Mar 9, 2016
    That's understandable. But I have great respect for Anthony Wellington, along with several of the people he plays with which is my reasoning for posting this here but I can post it under a different forum.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    By all means, leave it here. It will just get very little exposure from the rest of the crowd. As far as frets on a 34" neck, you'll be fine. I have two 34" Carvins with 24-fret necks and I have no problem playing either one right up to the top. There will be zero loss of sustain. I have a 24-fret Dingwall as well but the G string is actually under 34" (I think) and I still have no issues getting to the end of the board. Outside of playing "U Can't Hold No Groove" I really have zero use for a 24th fret though. For what it's worth, 35" is traditionally done to improve the low end on B strings, it doesn't really impact the high end. I don't think it does too much for the low end either but that is another story.

    As far as pau ferro goes, it is a lovely wood but I cannot really say much more than that on the subject.
  7. Yes it is.
  8. dudemanbroguy


    Mar 9, 2016
    Thanks that does help, I feel it's always a good thing to have all the tools you can even if there is little use for them; everything has its place, and little use is still use. The 24 fretted board is nice in case a certain part/song calls for it, like you said for "U Can't Hold No Grove." That's just my 2 cents, but who knows it could be worth less than that haha.
  9. I may be able to provide some insight. ;)

    I would not choose 35" over 34" for the spacing between the frets - it is a non-issue. The difference between those frets at the FIRST fret is less than 1/16", so it is even less of an issue at the 24th (fret spacing is logarithmic, the whole extra 1" difference isn't all in one place it's spread across the entire length of the string! ;) ). I also believe that there is a SLIGHT advantage to sustain on a 35" over a 34" based on observation. The biggest factor to me is the tone of the lower notes on the low strings - the E and B strings just have a different punch on 35" versus 34" - I won't say "better", but I will say "more to my personal preference" - I like being able to play all the way down to the low C without significantly changing my right hand attack, and on a 34", I never feel I can. I do believe that there is a bit of a trade off for the higher strings on a 5 or 6, the 35" can feel a bit stiffer on those strings, but not unmanageablely so - again a personal preference issue more than anything else: to me, the very minor trade off on the high strings utterly overwhelms the advantage of the longer scale length's positive effect on the lower strings. Frankly, it's not even a choice for me personally (and I'm only right for ME, so take that with a grain of your favorite mineral or other seasoning :D ).

    If all that up there was tl/dr, Cliff's Notes answer: don't matter up in the higher fret positions. :cool:

    Pau Ferro? Awesome stuff, stable, strong, sounds great, looks fantastic. Two thumbs up, would see it again. Maple/Wenge/Maple neck - subtle difference from either the same neck with a Purpleheart or Maple center (speaking Roscoe-specific here), I find a bit more midrange "oomph" with the Wenge center myself, and it looks great too (that said, all of my basses are Standard or Standard Plus - so they're 3-piece Maple).

    Lastly: s/o to Anthony - hey man, hope all's well with that killer SKB 7 of yours. :basssist:
    Preventer and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  10. dudemanbroguy


    Mar 9, 2016
    I finally was able to find some 34" scale 24 fret roscoes and realized that the space between the fretboard and the neck pick
    Thank you! This helps a lot! I've decided I'm going with a 35" scale. In every picture I have seen of a 34" 24 fret roscoe, the spacing between the fretboard and neck pick up is fairly cluttered compared to the 35" scale.

    Have you tried a Cocobolo Fretboard and if so how does that compare to the Pau Ferro?
  11. Cocobolo is a bit denser and oilier than Pau Ferro, my ear hears it as very similar to Ebony (but without all the downsides like cost and not being as stable as mythology tends to portray it ;) ). Pau is "ebony-ish" as well, but not quite as much as Cocobolo.
  12. dudemanbroguy


    Mar 9, 2016
    Sorry, I just now saw this. That was all I needed to know.

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